Urban Bioethics MA


About the Program

The Master of Arts in Urban Bioethics (MAUB) is the nation’s only bioethics degree explicitly centered on health equity. The program provides a solid foundation in traditional bioethics along with practical training and resources for understanding and analyzing the ethics, values and value conflicts that exist in urban settings.

Students who pursue the MAUB gain practical, theoretical and methodological skills to address extreme inequities of health and access to medical, legal and other resources in disparate, diverse and dense urban areas. Due to the far-reaching impact of bioethics, students are welcomed from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds, including medicine, policy, philosophy and law.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Location: Health Sciences Center

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Interdisciplinary Study: The degree is designed for graduate students and professionals who face, or will soon face, the complexities and disparities of urban health, and want specialized training in the ethics, values and politics of healthcare in our increasingly multidimensionally diverse society. Dual-degree students can take advantage of the inherent interdisciplinary nature of a dual degree by applying approved electives from their primary program toward the MA, while stand-alone MA students take 15 credits of applicable electives to round out their degree. Six dual-degree programs are currently offered:

  • MD/MA in Urban Bioethics within the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
  • DPT in Physical Therapy/MA in Urban Bioethics with the Temple University College of Public Health
  • MA in Philosophy/MA in Urban Bioethics with the Temple University College of Liberal Arts
  • PhD in Philosophy/MA in Urban Bioethics with the Temple University College of Liberal Arts
  • MA in Sociology/MA in Urban Bioethics with the Temple University College of Liberal Arts
  • PhD in Sociology/MA in Urban Bioethics with the Temple University College of Liberal Arts

Ranking: In 2023, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University number 68 in Research and among the Best Medical Schools.

Job Prospects: Students graduating with the MA in Urban Bioethics have the practical skills, including qualitative research, writing for diverse audiences, and advocacy, as well as theoretical and methodological training to advance in their existing careers and compete more competitively for residencies, job placements or other advanced graduate training programs.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students with at least a bachelor’s degree may register for courses by contacting MAUB@temple.edu. Credit toward a subsequent degree program at Temple University is limited to 9 credits, unless the student enrolls in the Urban Bioethics graduate certificate program. All 14 credits required to complete the certificate are applicable to the Urban Bioethics MA.

Financing Opportunities: Limited support is available for MA students concurrently enrolled in the MD program at Temple University.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1
Summer: April 1

Late applications may be considered for admission, even as late as up to two weeks prior to the term's start date.

Dual-degree applicants should note that application deadlines for companion programs may be earlier than the deadlines for the MA in Urban Bioethics. Please visit the companion program's description in the Graduate Bulletin for details.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2-3

Students applying to the Urban Bioethics MA program must submit 3 letters of reference and original transcripts from all post-high school institutions attended. However, students already matriculated into a graduate program at Temple University who are applying for a dual degree may:

  • upon permission of their recommenders and their home school, use their home school letters of recommendation for the Urban Bioethics MA application; and
  • ask the Urban Bioethics program administrators to request a transcript from the home school.

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with your academic performance and/or from professional supervisors familiar with your professional experience, accomplishments, and potential for success in a graduate program.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: While a baccalaureate degree is required for admission to the MA program, the major studied for the undergraduate degree is not specified.

Statement of Goals: Two to three double-spaced pages should address how you see the MA in Urban Bioethics as integral to your current educational goals and current/future career development.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Optional for applicants graduating from traditional undergraduate programs. Applicants for the dual degree and those already holding an advanced degree are not required to submit GRE scores.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current resume or CV required.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 32

Required Courses:

Core Courses
UBTH 5001Urban Bioethics 1 (Professional Students)3
UBTH 5002Urban Bioethics 2 (Professional Students)3
UBTH 5022Community Engagement I (Professional Students)2
UBTH 5023Community Engagement II (Professional Students)2
UBTH 5031The Values, Ethics, & Economics of Health Care Delivery in Urban Communities (Professional Students)2
UBTH 5041Critical Social Science and Urban Bioethics (Professional Students)2
Research Course
UBTH 9996MA in Urban Bioethics Thesis (Graduate Students)3
Total Credit Hours32

Culminating Events:
The thesis should make a novel contribution to the field. Toward this end, the student conducts an original research project, empirical or non-empirical, and produces a publishable paper. The research is undertaken with guidance from an approved thesis advisor from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, the Center for Urban Bioethics, or a dual-degree student’s home department.


Program Web Address:


Department Information:

Center for Urban Bioethics

Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

3500 N. Broad Street, MERB Suite 324

Philadelphia, PA 19140



Submission Address for Application Materials:


Mailing Address for Transcripts/Application Materials:

LKSOM Center for Urban Bioethics

ATTN: Catherine Averill

3500 N. Broad Street, MERB Suite 324F

Philadelphia, PA 19140


Department Contacts:

Director of Education:

Nora Jones, PhD



Assistant Director:

Providenza Loera Rocco, JD, MSW, MBE



Senior Advisor:

Catherine Averill, MA, MFA, PSM